The O'Keefe Group

Live, Work, Play: Upscale Shopping Mall


The Client's Challenge:

  • Decrease costs due to over-servicing;
  • Reduce noise level and eliminate odors from truck traffic in the mall;
  • Eliminate vermin and rodents caused by the organics container;
  • Maintain compliancy with OSHA and ANSI Standards;
  • Create Sustainability;
  • Eliminate inefficient hauling.

The TOG Solution:

  • Streamline and automate operations;
  • Remove all front-load containers;
  • Institute TOG R.A.P. (Recycle All Paper) Program;
  • Install four new Paper Recycling Compactors;
  • Develop a plan to break dependency on hauling contracts;
  • Consolidate equipment;
  • Educate tenant on source separating and clean waste streams;
  • Eliminate organics container.


  • Overall monthly costs were reduced by 56%;
  • GHG Emissions were considerably reduced from less trucking;
  • Efficiencies and productivity were increased without increasing overhead;
  • Brand image of the mall was enhanced by decreasing truck traffic, thereby eliminating odors and noise level;
  • Recycle recovery rate was increased at a rate of $75.00 per ton, resulting in less trucking costs;
  • Regulatory risk was minimized by making environmental practices an integral part of daily operations;
  • More income was generated by combining pad rentals with cardboard and plastic recycling revenues;
  • Source separating resulted in a clean waste stream and created more marketability;
  • Compliancy with Montgomery Recycling Regulations;
  • Best practices were established and implemented.

Back to Top

The Client's Challenge

The client's national hauler was providing front-load service for corrugated, mixed paper, and commingled bottles and cans. There was no reason why all paper fibers could not be combined in a single compactor making them eligible for a recycling rebate.

Most days, one or more containers would over-flow. The daily truck traffic degraded the pristine and popular shopping experience with the presence of garbage trucks driving around the property at all hours. The daily service meant large amounts of diesel fuel had to be burned in order to service the center, thereby, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the odor of diesel trash trucks. The client was tired of haulers making extravagant promises to reduce costs and never following through.

The TOG Solution

TOG's first priority was to get the national hauler to restore safety to its equipment. Current hauling contracts were reviewed and better terms were negotiated. All front-load containers that held mixed paper, corrugated and office paper were removed and replaced with new paper recycling compactors that met OSHA and ANSI standards.

The TOG R.A.P. (recycle all paper) Program was instituted and the tenants were instructed to deposit all paper in the TOG red paper recycling compactors. New trash compactors that had superior compaction than the compactors currently being used were installed. Eighteen yellow gallon bins were installed to collect plastic bottles, cans, glass, and other beverage containers. The bagging of food and beverage containers was banned.  (Previously, when the tenants were allowed to bag all containers, they included trash and then dropped them into the 90 gallon recycling totes, contaminating the stream.)  The Organics Container was eliminated and Rubbermaid containers were added.


TOG provided the platform needed to improve the quality of service and reduce costs. Educating and training tenants on the importance of source separating (keeping trash out of the recycling waste streams), has made the material more marketable. The amount of water weight from bottles and cans has reduced the weight in the compactors and saved the client additional money on direct disposal. This resulted in the sale of R.A.P. materials at a rate of $65.00 per ton, less trucking costs. When the 15 and 20 yard recycling roll-off containers were eliminated, and new compactors were installed, daily hauling was eliminated, thereby reducing hauling costs. The addition of 18 gallon commingled recycling boxes increased recovery rates at the store level for other commingled recycling.

The client has reduced its monthly costs by 56%. A portion of the savings resulted from the elimination of fuel and environmental fees, a charge designed by national haulers to raise prices. TOG instructed the national hauler to eliminate these surcharges from its client's invoiced costs. TOG requested net pricing only with a price guarantee for 2 years.  The client also acquired the right to use the hauler of its choice and to challenge higher prices and eliminate wasteful practices that resulted in higher costs. As a result, best practices were established and implemented to ensure future success.